Wednesday, October 22, 2008

To Handwrite or Not to Handwrite....

With traditional stationery etiquette quickly becoming a ‘thing of the past’, it is no surprise that ‘properly addressing an envelope’ is a hot topic during our consultations. We value short-cuts just as much as you do…but this is not an area you should skimp on time. Though it may seem silly to you, guests will scoff at a tacky envelope!

Professional Calligraphy
According to traditional etiquette, handwritten professional calligraphy is the only acceptable method of addressing an envelope. Hand Calligraphy is quickly becoming a lost art, making it difficult to track down a professional calligrapher at a reasonable cost. You shouldn’t be at all surprised if the cost for calligraphy services exceeds the cost of the invitation ensemble itself!

At one of last years bridal shows, we met a woman who has such a passion for the art that she does it as a hobby and charges a very reasonable price. Though she only offers non-script hand calligraphy, her style is beautiful and her attention to detail precise! Guest addresses are $1.25 each and Return addresses & Response envelope addresses are $.85 each. The turnaround time is 1-2 weeks, depending on the size of the order. Here is a sample of her work:

sample of calligraphy

Most of our clients approach the invitation process with the assumption that they will handwrite the addresses – and most don’t approach that idea with much enthusiasm! Addressing your own envelopes is the next best thing to professional calligraphy. Make sure you set aside plenty of time, and order extra envelopes for the inevitable writing errors!

Most of the envelopes we use in our designs are metallic, thus, they have a smooth and shiny texture to them. Surprisingly, ballpoint pens work best on the metallic envelopes. Any standard calligraphy pen or water-based pen takes extra time to dry and may smudge easily. This will be a very tedious process so be sure to test out several different options to find a pen or marker that you feel comfortable working with.

Computer Calligraphy
Computer printed calligraphy is quickly replacing hand calligraphy. Though a computer addressed envelope lacks the charm of a hand written envelope, it can coordinate with the typestyle of your invitation bringing an element of design to the ensemble. We offer computer calligraphy on all of our custom designs. The catalogs that we carry have even started offering computer calligraphy which just goes to show you how high the demand is. If I had to guess, I would say that approximately 80% of our clients choose computer addressing. Not only does coordinating the font of your invitation with your envelope looks polished and professional ….it will save you time. If we print your addresses and you pay for response envelope stamps, we will actually stamp and stuff your entire invitation ensemble! Now that’s what we call ‘taking care of our clients’!

Applying pre-printed address labels is the only absolute no-no under both traditional and modern etiquette. Your guests will think it’s tacky…and we do too! There is a reason why catalog companies include address printing in the cost of the response card and charge a very nominal fee to print the back flap of the invitation envelope – they don’t want you to use labels either! Still, if you find yourself in a situation where you must do the unthinkable, we suggest using clear matte or gloss labels and only do so only for repetitive addresses.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Menu Cards

"Menus...should I use them"? We seem to be getting this question quite a bit lately!

Considering that the majority of your wedding budget goes toward food and drink, it's no wonder you are thinking about just how to let your guests know the delicious choices they have. Not only will you spend a lot of time deciding what types of food to have to choose how to serve it! Whether you choose Family Style, Buffet, Plated or the increasingly popular Food Stations, a properly placed menu will add to the anticipation of your event. Below is a list of each and our suggestion for how and when to include them.

wedding menus

Family Style - We suggest placing 1 or 2 menus at each table for guests to pass around and share - just like the food! You could also send a menu card with the invitation ensemble, or place one at each place. Keep in mind, the table will get rather crowded once the food is served so the less you add to the tables beforehand, the better!

Buffet - For Buffet style dinners, we favor menus at each place setting. What a great way to incorporate beautiful papers with shine and texture to your table scape! You could also have a small card with a food description placed near each item on the buffet line. We strongly suggest doing so if you are serving ethnic cuisine. You could still send a menu with the invitation ensemble, but with the many choices buffets offer, the card could get pretty lengthy.

Plated - Or some might say: "a response card nightmare"! Relax, we have this one under control! Most couples serving plated dinners at their reception offer meal choices on the reply card as this helps their caterers prepare the correct number of each offering. Unfortunately, response cards are often crammed for space and your exquisite "Center Cut Filet Mignon", "Pan Seared Wild Salmon", and "Chicken Francaise" get represented as: "Beef", Fish", and "Chicken". Our solution? Include a menu with the invitation. You can either double side your response card and put the menu on the back, or include the menu as a piece of the ensemble. This will help your guests make their choices and leave them excited to see the other fine details you have incorporated into the reception. You could also leave a menu at each table or even each place setting to better describe the food they will be served.

Food Stations - Food stations are a great way to incorporate themed food or break up the traditional "table-dismissal-buffet-monotony". I will never forget the wedding I attended a few years back where six entirely different cultures were represented at six different food stations. It was a great way to learn about and try new foods but I am a picky eater and thankfully a menu was on display at each station. You could also include a menu card at each place setting or at each table describing the different stations and perhaps why you chose them. And as with any other type of reception, it would be just fine to include a menu card within your invitation ensemble.

All this talk about food and now my stomach is growling! Time for lunch! No need for a menu...its a boring Lean Cusine....


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This Just In - Holiday Cards!!

We decided to give something a try this year - and we could not be more excited to share it with you. We have added 8 catalogs of holiday cards!! These are not your average holiday cards either! From formal corporate cards to family photo cards to funky personal greetings, these catalogs are guaranteed to get you excited to send out cards this year! I have picked my (15) favorites - so I am sure you will find at least one!

We are trying it out to see how it goes - so tell your friends, family, co-workers and bosses! We are offering 30% off all holiday card purchases through November 15th!! This is a huge savings off the book price. If you get your order in early enough, you may just get free return addressing on your envelopes!